FE sector is flying without a licence

We are gravely concerned about the proposal in the Lingfield review's interim report, Professionalism in Further Education, to stop requiring further education college lecturers to be qualified as teachers ("FE professionalism gets its most radical shake-up in a decade", 30 March). We fear that this will lead to the deprofessionalising of staff in colleges, work-based learning and private providers, undoing all the gains made since 2001 when training became compulsory. We are also shocked and disturbed by the withdrawal of government support for the sector's professional body, the Institute for Learning.

One wonders whether members of Lord Lingfield's panel would recommend treatment by doctors with the medical equivalent of a threshold licence to practise. Would they advocate flying with airline pilots who have no training or qualifications at all because their employer exercised the right not to compel them to achieve their qualification?

Following wider consultation, the Lingfield panel will publish "a full report" in July. We therefore urge students, parents, teacher trainees and lecturers in the FE sector to sign the e-petition at direct.gov.uk against the revoking of FE teaching regulations and, second, to take part in the government's wider consultation at www.surveymonkey.comsXWMDMXC

Rebecca Eliahoo - University of Westminster

Wendy Moss, Khorshed Bhote - City Literary Institute

Patrick Molloy, Ben Beaumont - Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College; and 12 other signatories from the sector.

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